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South Korean company to invest $2.5 billion in solar in Georgia

A South Korean solar panel maker said Wednesday that it will invest more than $2.5 billion to build factories in Georgia in what it says is the largest solar investment in American history.

Qcells, a unit of Hanwha Solutions, projects it will supply about 30% of total U.S. solar panel demand by 2027, including making solar panel components usually manufactured outside the United States.

A new plant in Cartersville, about 35 miles northwest of Atlanta, will hire 2,000 workers and make silicon ingots and wafers and solar cells — key ingredients in a solar panel. Qcells now makes solar modules capable of generating 1.7 gigawatts of electricity each year at a plant in Dalton.

The company has already announced two phases of additional expansion at that plant. Following the expansions, the company will make 8.4 gigawatts worth of modules, or about 10,000 solar panels a year, in the United States.